The Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment and the Bank of Industry has secured a $1 billion syndicated loan to support about 100,000 Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and 300,000 self-employed artisans in the country.
The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Richard Adeniyi Adebayo, disclosed this on Monday at the Quantum Mechanics Limited MSMEs Survival Fund capacity building programme in Abuja.
Adebayo, in a statement by his media aide, Ifedayo Sayo, said the loan would improve the bank’s capacity to support MSMEs across key sectors of the Nigerian economy.
He added that the loan, being implemented in conjunction with international partners, had a long-term tenor, alongside moratorium benefits.
“There is an ongoing discussion with Dunn and Bradstreet to establish an SMEs Ratings Agency of Nigeria (SMERAN) to provide an empirical basis toward analysing the eligibility of SMEs to access credit.
The minister, who spoke on efforts of the federal government to support MSMEs in the country, also reiterated the ministry’s support to MSMEs development as demonstrated by the MSMEs Survival Fund Initiative, launched in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic by the government as part of its Nigerian Economic Sustainability Plan.
“The fund comprises the Payroll Support Scheme, which aims at supporting MSMEs in meeting their payroll obligations and safeguard jobs by paying up to N50,000 to a maximum of 10 employees for three months.
The Minister said that the fund was estimated to save at least 1.3 million jobs across the country while strengthening beneficiary businesses’ growth potential.